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Poster: Dark Moon Date: Dec 15, 2011 3:17am
Forum: feature_films Subject: I remember...

"So much for the hardware we've grown to distrust...but anyone remember acoustic modems?"

I remember modems with acoustic couplers—rubber cups—into which you would set your telephone handset, because this was in the days before registered jacks (rj11, etc.), when telephones were wired to junction boxes. I remember the Teletype terminals they were mounted on, which printed 110 characters per minute on paper.

I remember the IBM batch computer at my high school, which was fed instructions on punched cards, and the keypunch machine used for encoding the cards. "Mounting" a disk drive meant picking up a "disk pack" (a stack of oxide-coated platters fixed together into a unit) and physically mounting it on the spindle of a drive about half again as large as a top-loading washing machine.

In college, I remember writing my papers for school on a DEC PDP-11 mainframe, accessed through "dumb" terminals. Though video text-mode terminals with full-screen addressability were becoming more popular, half the school's terminals printed on fan-folded paper, using dot matrix or daisy-wheels. Using a version of TECO (Text Editor and COrrector) that was NOT designed for use on full screen terminals (so the user had to visualize where in the file the action would take place), I created source files containing text and imbedded formatting comands. Run this through a formatting program, and the result was a printed document with nicely justified text, centered titles, and other features. Little did I realize that what I was using was a conceptual predecessor to word processors and SGML/HTML.

I have other old-timey memories, but I guess I've bored y'all enough with this off-topic post. :)